Freezing weather causes 'unprecedented' number of burst water pipes

Customer collecting free bottled water

Water companies have been supplying bottled water to customers Credit Leon Neal Getty

The recent bout of extreme weather across the United Kingdom has resulted in burst pipes, damage to water infrastructure and widespread outages.

However, some suppliers have kept warnings in place and are advising customers to use water sparingly, as some parts of the United Kingdom are still experiencing shortages.

Water companies says they are witnessing "exceptionally high levels of demand for water" as engineers attempt to fix a rash of burst pipes and leaks on the network.

Leaking pipes in London left 12,000 households without water or suffering from very low pressure on Monday, said Thames Water, which was providing bottled water to customers at two locations.

Thousands of people have now faced 48 hours without water, after a thaw resulted in multiple burst pipes across the region.

A lorry arrived in Rotherfield and South East Water workers unloaded huge supplies of bottled water for distribution among residents.

A number of water handout points have been set up in London to provide the worst affected people with fresh water.

"Where possible, take short showers rather than baths, do not leave taps running unnecessarily and only run washing machines and dish washers when you have a full load", the company stated on its website.

Farther north, Scottish Water said there was no significant impact on its customers because Scotland had not suffered the same rapid thaw.

The joint statement said: "We are putting as much extra water as we can into our local networks and fixing leaks and bursts as quickly as possible". This will make a real difference.

Significant numbers of customers are now without water or have low pressure.

'We are now managing our resources but would ask that customers look continue to be vigilant to look for leaks'.

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